Joint Ownership of Sailboats for the Unmarried
Hello Ladies. My boyfriend and I have lived and cruised together for the past three years on a couple of small sailboats. We are not married and don't have any intention of getting formally married, but we're beginning to think we might be together for awhile. Previously, my boyfriend has purchased both boats with his money alone, paid for substantial improvements that would increase the value of the boat (windvane, EPIRB, etc.), and kept the money when they were sold. I have split the cost of slip rent, routine maintenance, charts, flags, etc. and scraped my weight in varnish. We are looking for a boat to keep now and we both have a good chunk of money to put into it, though probably not 50/50. We're a bit nervous as to how it would work out if we were to have a messy breakup in the years ahead. Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to set up a co-ownership arrangement so that we could legally divide things up fairly if all goes to hell? Can you title a boat under two peoples names? Do you need to draw up some sort of contract? If we were buying a house, we could set up a tenants in common arrangement, but what do you do if your house ain't a house?